|A bomb disposal squad member returns after defusing a live bomb found at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on Tuesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar
Patna, Oct. 29: A graduate in psychology has been arrested for possible involvement in Sunday’s serial bomb blasts.
Tabish alias Ansari (25), who graduated from Ranchi University, was picked up from his native village Alaula in East Champaran district, around 150km northwest of Patna, this morning. He is the third person to be arrested after Jharkhand residents Imtiyaz Ansari and Enul.
East Champaran superintendent of police Vinay Kumar confirmed Tabish’s arrest.
Tabish is said to be a close associate of Imtiyaz, who was arrested from Patna Junction soon after the first blast on Sunday morning. Imtiyaz was produced in the railway court today following which he was remanded in police custody.
Tabish was taken into custody on the basis of calls made by Imtiyaz from his mobile phone after the serial explosions. Imtiyaz, a close aide of Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu, had promised Tabish he would visit him on Sunday.
Enul, an associate of Imtiyaz, was arrested after his belt blew up while he was allegedly wrapping it around his waist at the Patna Junction.
Both Imtiyaz and Enul are said to be residents of Sithio village on the outskirts of Ranchi. According to the Patna police, the conspiracy for the bombings was hatched by Akhtar and Imtiyaz, his nephew.
An officer associated with the investigation said Tabish had been staying in Ranchi for a long time. “We are trying to find out when he returned to his village in East Champaran from Ranchi. His links with the Ranchi-based group involved in the Patna bomb blasts can’t be ruled out,” the officer said, adding that Tabish’s father once served as a tailor in the Indian Army.
He claimed that Tabish had admitted that Imtiyaz called him on his mobile phone. He, however, denied his role in the Patna blasts and said that he came in contact with Imtiyaz while pursuing a computer training course in Ranchi a few months ago.
Police sources said Imtiyaz had told the interrogators that the group led by him was asked to sneak into Nepal after the blasts. The Nepal border lies about 80km north of the village of Alaula. The Patna police have so far said the conspiracy was hatched by six persons. The police have named all six, saying two are in custody and four are absconding.
Sources in the headquarters said a probe team had been sent to Ranchi to get details about the four missing suspects: IM operative Akhtar, the alleged mastermind and native of Samastipur, and his three associates — Haider, Nauman and Taufique.
Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said none of the six persons named as accused in the FIR lodged with the Gandhi Maidan police station was a minor as claimed by his Jharkhand counterparts. “We have definite information that they are all adults,” Maharaj said.
Patna Medical College and Hospital deputy superintendent Bimal Karak confirmed the death of six persons. While five persons died during treatment at the hospital, the sixth was brought dead, he said.
All six persons killed have been identified
Vikas Kumar Singh (29) of Ghisiwa village, Kaimur
Rajnarayan Singh (65) of Kamarji village, Patna
Rajesh Kumar (25) of Thalsa village, Nalanda
Bindeshwari Choudhary (65) of Tara Bariarpur, Begusarai
Munna Srivastava (35) of Mirganj, Gopalganj
Bharat Rajak (42) of Simrahi, Supaul